US adds Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to the list of global terrorists

In a move that may further raise tension in the Middle East, the US on Wednesday designated Ismail Haniyeh (pictured), the head of Palestinian Hamas movement, as an international terrorist and slapped sanctions on him. In early December last year, Haniyeh had called for an uprising in the West Bank and Jerusalem in response to the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The State Department on Wednesday said Haniyeh has been linked to terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens. The sanction freezes all US-based assets he may be having and bans US persons and companies from doing business with him. The political bureau of Hamas has already been added to the list of global terrorists in 2001. On Wednesday, the US also added three terrorist groups to the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists: Harakat al-Sabireen, Liwa al Thawra and Harakat Sawa’d Misr (HASM). Harakat al-Sabireen, backed by Iran, operates primarily in the Palestinian territories and is accused of being behind rocket attacks on Israel. Liwa al Thawra and HASM are based in Egypt and are accused of being the armed wings of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.